Category Archives: Economics

Important futilities

Sometimes what we do seems to be unduly influenced by what appears to be utterly futile. Is that as unwise as it seems? Last Saturday was Luka’s 6th birthday. We had some balloons to decorate the house, and for just … Continue reading

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Real prices can be about more than supply and demand

(featured image via Twitter) How to turn an unfair price rise into a fair one This last week, the UK has been experiencing a freak petrol* crisis. A handful of filling stations on the south coast had run out of … Continue reading

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Incentives in the balance

(featured image: Ruslan/Flickr CC BY SA 2.0 and Thamizhpparithi Maari/Wikimedia CC BY SA 3.0) We respond to incentives, that is true – but not always in the way that might be expected An insight to which I often return is … Continue reading

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Buyer and seller – one market price, two perspectives

(featured image: abby_mix07/Flickr CC BY NC SA 2.0) Markets enable prices to reach a level that satisfies both sellers and buyers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they see that price in the same way Do you know what a … Continue reading

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An accidental behavioural economist is on holiday – again

Human behaviour continues to be an inexhaustible source of wonder and fascination – even when on holiday Unexpectedly, your correspondent had an opportunity to return to his native country at short notice for a brief holiday after skipping the annual … Continue reading

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Good people… but not that good

(featured image: User18526052 via Freepik) The good news is that we are prosocial; in other news, it comes with strings and conditions attached Take a look around you. Unless you’re in the middle of a nature reserve, miles from human … Continue reading

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Beyond game theory

A board game with a small human illustrates how much emotions influence our decisions The other day, Jenny and I played a game of Ludo with Luka. Its rules are simple enough to make it quite suitable for a five-year-old, … Continue reading

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No such thing as a free dinner

(featured image: UNC Greensboro/Flickr CC BY NC-ND 2.0) One of our more intriguing and widespread beliefs is that when others appear to pay for something, it is actually free to us. But looks can be deceptive… Imagine that you are … Continue reading

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Naturally

(featured image: Department for Transport/Flickr CC-BY-ND 2.0) Is there a “natural” state of things that is inherently superior? You’re happily driving along on the motorway. It is quite busy for a Tuesday afternoon, and there is a slight drizzle. Suddenly, … Continue reading

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The meaning of money

(Featured image: Roman K/Flicker CC BY-ND 2.0) What money means in economic terms, and what it means to us, are two – or many more – different things Imagine you have just spent £70 (€80, $95) on something, only to … Continue reading

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